Scots trade group in smoke-ban fight

By Gurjit Degun

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Licensed trade association, Scottish licensed trade, Smoking, Scottish licensed trade association

Smoking: should it be allowed in pubs again?
Smoking: should it be allowed in pubs again?
A Scottish trade group is fighting to re-introduce smoking in pubs, five years after the ban came in. The Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA)...

A Scottish trade group is fighting to re-introduce smoking in pubs, five years after the ban came in.

The Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA) is campaigning for a relaxation of the ban to allow struggling traditional pubs and bars to survive.

Scotland introduced the smoking ban in 2006 and the SLTA's chief executive Paul Waterson explained that Scotland has lost 800 pubs since.

The SLTA organised a meeting last week to gather first-hand experience from bar owners in Holland and Croatia, where the law allows smoking in bars as long as barstaff and other customers are not exposed to second-hand smoke. Waterson said the next step will be to correlate this information and get in touch with MSPs.

He said: "No-one wants to go back to the old ways of smoke-filled pubs and people coming out of pubs smelling of smoke, but I think it is appropriate to see if there is a way we can be sympathetic to everyone.

"This might be through a certain amount of ventilation, and by allowing only certain types of operations to allow smoking. There are some smaller operators that don't have an outdoor area and can't do food and are one step away from closure.

"We will contact MSPs to see if there is any way around the ban, and I'm not saying it'll be easy, but it's wrong just to let the trade die."

Chief executive of the Scottish Beer & Pub Association Patrick Browne added: "I guess given it's been five years, a review might be appropriate but the Scottish National Party's manifesto has a new tobacco control policy, which means there may be more restrictions."

Related topics: Legislation

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